18 In Beauty/ Lifestyle

Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder vs. NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder


Air cushions and dewy skin has been going strong in K-Beauty for several years, but I have always preferred a matte finish. For my combination skin with an oily T-zone, powders have always been my preference. After going through three powders by Lancome in the Matte Porcelaine Delicate finish, I decided to try the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. I was intrigued by the idea of a colorless finishing powder, and upon trying it I was hooked. It gave me the powdered finish I enjoyed without feeling heavy by adding an extra layer of color.


As you can see, I’ve hit pan with the NARS setting powder. It came with a puff that worked well, but my tool of choice is a brush. The only problem is that the NARS setting powder doesn’t pick up very well by brush, so I have always felt as though I needed to dig into the powder to get it on my brush. So I decided to try a product with a similar concept, the HD Pressed Powder by Make Up For Ever, to see if it would fare any better.


When I apply the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder on one side of my face and the Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder, I can’t tell much of a difference between the two powders. They both powder my skin without adding bulk, and they both have a radiant finish rather than a flat matte. However, I found that I preferred the Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder as it was brush friendly. Picking up the powder was effortless using the same brush which made me extremely happy. The only gripe I have with the MUFE pressed powder is that it’s a little trickier opening the latch compared to the iconic NARS container, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll get used to in time.

Your turn ♥ Do you prefer a matte finish or a dewy finish? Have you tried clear pressed powders before?

You Might Also Like

  • I used to be all about matte, and now I’m all about dewy haha. My sister loves the NARS setting powder (though I believe she has the loose one), while I really liked the MUFE one. Now I don’t prefer clear powders too much, especially since I have really dark undereye circles and I like using a really light yellow powder for setting there. I’m thinking of picking up an Hourglass powder to set my face because I wanna add more dewy/glow hahaha.

    becky ♡ star violet

    • Kim

      Ahh, I haven’t tried their loose powder before. I usually get pressed powders so I can’t accidentally poof it all off into the air lol. I use the Maybelline concealer under my eyes and I like that it doesn’t clump up into wrinkles. I’ve heard really nice things about the hourglass powder, but have you tried air cushion compacts? They do the dewy look well :P

  • I prefer a matte finish because I have pretty oily skin, especially during the summer. I really love the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, but I have been meaning to get my hands on some higher end ones to see if they’re any better. I may have to pick up the MUFE one after reading this post!

    • Kim

      Both the MUFE and the NARS I would say are a radiant matte rather than a true matte matte. I use this when I am doing my make up and then use a mini matte-fying compact when I’m out and about ;)

  • rae

    thanks for the great review! I really want to look into. The Nars setting powder as I am curious about the reflecting quality and if this would work well for me. I actually coincidentally just bought a setting powder yesterday, but it is just a drugstore product, as I do not have a lot of money to shell out on makeup right now.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • Kim

      Ahh, the NARS and MUFE powders but feel like the reflect a good amount of light. Not overly done, but gives a nice radiant touch. If you have time to swing by Sephora you could probably test the MUFE powder. They are both similar in terms of effect. I’m not sure if NARS is in Sephora now. The last time I was in Sephora was 3 years ago and they didn’t have it back then.

      • rae

        Thanks for the suggestion! Also, I had no idea that you were actually from the US I thought you were born and raised in Korea! What part of the states are you in?

        • Kim

          Ahh hehe, I was born and raised in the States but I’m currently living in Korea. I’ve lived in Utah and Washington (Seattle)!

          • rae

            Ah okay how cool! Do you miss the US at all? How long do you plan to stay in Korea for?

          • Kim

            Yes, but I think I’ll always be missing either country as both seem like home hehe. I’m not quite sure how long I’ll be in Korea. I find that life seems to be unexpected so it’s still a mystery as to where I’ll be next ;)

  • Oooh I’m all about matte – I’ve tried a bunch of powders from Laura Mercier loose setting powder, Majolica Majorca blotting powder, MAC blotting powder and Soap and Glory blotting powder. At the moment, I use none of them haha! I’ve been using a powder foundation and then sticking to blotting sheets but I am definitely on the hunt for something new to try. The make up forever one is definitely one I’m intrigued to try! I’ll have to check it out when I’m next near the counter!

    • Kim

      Ooh I was actually a bit curious about the Laura Mercier setting powder, but I heard it included talc and wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to venture into. I’m liking the MUFE powder so far. The NARS and MUFE seem almost the same in effect, but I like that the MUFE picks up easily by brush!

  • I REALLY don’t look good with dewy skin (a.k.a. oily for me), so I’ll have to test this out, haha. I feel like I always want to rush to the store after reading your reviews! Do you find that these powders ever give a flakey look after a while? Sometimes powders will make my skin dry out a bit and flake, which isn’t really cute either x)

    Stephanie ● Sartorial Diner

    • Kim

      Hmm, no, but I’ve been using an air cushion compact that is supposed to give a dewy effect under the powder so I think that keeps it from getting too dry. So I am not sure how it would work out if I were to use say a matte-fying foundation. Dewy doesn’t work for me either, but the “matte” air cushion was just as dewy as the dewy one so I just went for the regular one lol. Alternatively you could try powdering your T-zone and not powdering the dry areas?

  • It depends :) I like to mix it up a little! I think a dewy finish is absolutely stunning with minimal makeup in summer! But for an evening event it always has to be matte! I’d love to try the Nars one- highlighter is just about the only thing that makes me look alive in the morning! At the moment I use Benefit

    Rachel xx

    • Kim

      Oooh yes, I think matte is perfect for an evening event :D How do you like the Benefit highlighter? Do you mean the Watts up one?

  • I love these kind of comparison posts! One thing with the MUFE powder is that you have to be careful how much you apply as I’ve heard it can show up white in flash photography.

    • Kim

      Ahh good to know. Now I’m curious and will have to turn on my flash to see what it’ll look like lol. I haven’t taken a photo with flash since…I can’t remember so I hadn’t thought about it :P